At 10:00PM tonight it will be exactly 5 months and 29 days until the polls have closed on the evening of Thursday 7th May 2015. Voting in the General Election will cease and it will be “all over bar the counting.”
As this date with destiny approaches, several Labour MPs are getting rather worried. And with very good reason! They are hoping that Ed will be replaced with Alan Johnson, Member of Parliament for Hull West and Hessle.
Why should Eurorealists and those referred to as “Climate Change Deniers” want to see Ed continue?
Well, just look at the photograph above! Let us face it, “Unfortunate Ed’s” capacity for saying the wrong thing and/or doing the wrong thing at the wrong time and in the wrong place to the wrong audience, borders on the sublime! Such ineptitude possesses a sort of transcendental, surreal quality about it that is deeply satisfying – for those fortunate souls who benefit from it!
Who could possibly imagine such a better photo opportunity [for those other than Labour] – Ed in a hole! With a shovel! And smiling! Seemingly, thinking that such an image needs an extra something – a certain je ne sais quoi? Ed decides to complete the effect by posing for the shot with a tee shirt emblazoned with, “I have nothing to declare except my genius.” Glorious! He can’t even get the quote right! The correct quote as British Gazette readers will know is “I have nothing to declare BUT my genius” – that was of course said by Oscar Wilde at Customs Control in New York in 1882.
It is clear that Ed has a plan! A plan to gain occupancy of Number 10 Downing Street on or very shortly after Friday 8th May, 2015. It is clear what this plan is: To rely on UKIP taking enough votes away from the Tories to ensure that Ed gets past the winning post. Of course, Mr Cameron is fully aware of this and is desperately repeating his siren call; “Vote Nigel, get Ed!”
The problem for UKIP is clear: Mr Cameron is correct. A vote for UKIP will place Ed as Prime Minister. This however is something that UKIP should not fear. In fact, they should welcome it!
The late Harold Wilson once famously said that “A week is a long time in politics.” He was right. The British Gazette cannot predict the result of the General Election. Nor can any other. However, based on current trends of public opinion and events – we can speculate.
What seems to be happening is this: the Scots are increasingly favouring the SNP. It might be the case that the SNP “sweeps the board” in Scotland in May 2015. UKIP’s vote has soared but appears to threaten the Tories more than Labour. In Wales – Labour’s traditional heartland – Plaid Cymru are not benefiting from Labour’s unpopularity but are sharing in it. The beneficiaries being the Tories and to a lesser extent, UKIP.
Labour have an inbuilt advantage in that their stronghold areas have smaller constituencies than the Tory stronghold areas. So much so that it is calculated by some that Labour needs 35% to form a majority government whilst the Tories need 43% This calculation however assumes that Labour’s support in Scotland and Wales holds up. What is clear is that this does not appear to be the case.
OK then, what MIGHT happen?
That the SNP sweep the board in Scotland. Labour fail to make much headway in Wales. The Liberal Democrats focus solely on trying to retain their 56 seats and end up loosing three quarters of them, returning to the new parliament with a mere 14? UKIP? Impossible to predict but a wild guess would suggest that maybe, just maybe, UKIP will equal the Lib Dems in the new parliament – 14 seats.
Many British Gazette readers will suggest the Editor is being far too pessimistic but the Editor is of the opposite opinion and is being too optimistic. The Editor hopes his pessimism is proved wrong!
As for the two big parties – the “Ugly Sisters” as the Lib-Dems have traditionally referred to them – the Tories are likely to end up with fewer seats than Labour – if the UKIP vote holds up. This however will probably not result in a Labour majority. Excluding the SNP and Plaid Cymru, it may well be the case that Labour will have more English seats than the Tories but the Tories and UKIP will have more than Labour. Which will mean that Labour will still require the Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru. This is because the SNP have answered the West Lothian question in the proper democratic way: they will not vote on English only issues. It appears that we could see Alex Salmond return to the House of Commons:
Monday 11th May, 2015 could well see a new coalition government in the UK. It could be a tripartite coalition: Labour and the Lib-Dems with the SNP. Labour will need the Lib Dems in order to get some of their programme through the Commons as the SNP – led in Westminster by Alex Salmond – will refuse to vote on English only issues. Alex Salmond could well demand a big cabinet post for himself: Foreign Secretary. A Lib Dem will be Deputy Prime Minister.
The UK’s new Prime Minister, Ed Miliband will be a “lame duck” from the outset. In fact, Mr Miliband is likely to be “in office, but not in power.” If the above comes to pass, Labour will not be able to put through its programme for England. The governance of the UK – in terms of those powers that will remain UK powers and not delegated to Scotland – will in effect be in the hands of the SNP! The governance of England – will in effect be in the hands of possibly 14 Lib-Dems!
The effects of this on Labour’s poll ratings? Disastrous is not strong enough a word!
Of course, one thing that Labour will wish to do which will have Lib-Dem support is to put in place Elected Regional Assemblies for England. There will be the so-called “constitutional conversation” of course, but the result is a forgone conclusion. This conclusion – Elected Regional Assemblies for England – will be A GOOD THING for UKIP.
This is because they will undoubtedly employ some form of PR which will mean that given Labour and Lib-Dem unpopularity, UKIP will do very well. This will mean that UKIP will have full time salaried politicians and possibly some measure of ministerial responsibility. This is important for UKIP people need experience of office. This is where the Lib-Dems have the advantage over UKIP.
To those feeling depressed at the above prospect, the British Gazette would offer some solace: Since the UK has handed over three quarters of Sovereign decision making to the foreign power called the European Union, we are only discussing who does what with the remaining quarter!